Queenslanders thank volunteers this ‘International Volunteer Day’

It’s International Volunteer Day, and us Queenslanders have a lot to thank our Volunteers for, particularly since the recent bush fire crisis.

This year’s theme is ‘Volunteer for an inclusive future’, recognising the role of volunteers in strengthening solidarity and inclusion in their communities.

Across the Sunshine State, we’ve got a whopping 714,000 volunteers!

Minister for Communities Coralee O’Rourke says today is a great opportunity to thank them for their hard work, and to encourage others to get on the volunteer band wagon.

“Queensland’s army of volunteers dedicate themselves to making our communities more inclusive, caring and resilient,” Mrs O’Rourke said.

“Celebrating volunteers is particularly fitting today in the wake of the recent bush fire crisis, where volunteers across Queensland rolled up their sleeves, often leaving their own home and families, to keep others safe and help them recover.

“I encourage all Queenslanders to take some time to celebrate the power and potential of volunteerism and recognise the contribution volunteers make to our communities.

“Volunteering provides opportunities for people, particularly those often excluded, to improve their own lives and play a role in their communities by donating their time and skills,” she said.

“Supporting volunteers in Queensland is a key part of our goal to create thriving communities where Queenslanders, regardless of their personal circumstances, can participate and be included in their communities, be resilient and enjoy social and economic wellbeing.

“I encourage all Queenslanders interested in volunteering to connect with Volunteering Queensland and see what opportunities are available in their communities,” Minister O’Rourke said.

For more information about volunteering opportunities around the state, click here.



First week of summer to stay ‘hot, dry and sunny’ for the Gold Coast

The Gold Coast is in for a few more hot days, with little to no rain in sight.

Thankfully, we’re not quite at ‘heatwave’ temps just yet, though it’s already pretty hot for the first week of summer.

The Gold Coast is heading for tops of 30 to 31 degrees today, 32 degrees tomorrow, and 34 degrees on Friday.

IMAGE | Sourced BOM

Dean Narramore from the Bureau says it’s due to westerly winds dragging the heat from the state’s interior all the way to the coast, though there is still some relief overnight.

“We normally sit around the high 20s to around 30 or so degrees (at this time of year), so it is a few degrees above average.

“But the nights aren’t too warm yet… They’re still saying around 17/18 degrees and will get up to around 20 degrees in the morning.

“So in a heatwave – you want to have the nights and days well above average and that kind of means that the human body kind of struggles to cool down in the evening and have no respite.

“The days are going to be hot but the nights are still going to have some relief with a bit of an easterly in the evening,” Mr Narramore said.

Though we’re not quite in our first heatwave of the season yet, Mr Narramore warns that the conditions will still be terrible for fire fighters, with little to no rain in the forecast.

“Unfortunately with those hot, dry and westerley winds we’re going to see fire dangers increase as we move into the end of the week, so we’re looking into ‘very high’ to ‘severe’ fire dangers.

“Again Friday is probably the peak day when we’re going to have severe fire danger ratings in the south east coast, obviously including the Gold Coast area, and up through the Hinterland, but we’ve got ‘very high’ fire dangers for at least the next four days.

“So pretty much four days of hot, sunny weather on the way and dry conditions as well, probably wont see any cooling relief until around Sunday when we get our next southeasterly change.

“There may be a chance of a shower or storm on the southeasterly change over the weekend,” Mr Narramore said.

The Gold Coast’s Air Quality rating has dropped down to a moderate level, after smoke haze forced it to an ‘unhealthy’ rating yesterday.

This could worsen again by the end of the week as well.

Police lights NSW

Teen charged, another driver on the run after police bust Tweed street race

A young man has been charged and another driver remains at large after police allegedly busted a street race in far north NSW.

According to NSW Police, officers in an unmarked car were driving on the Pacific Highway through Banora Point around 9.20pm on Monday when they were overtaken by two cars travelling at high speed.

Police will allege the two cars – a white Volkswagen Golf GTI and a white Holden Cruz both bearing provisional plates – were racing one another, reaching speeds of between 170-200km/hour in a 100km/hr zone

Police activated their warnings lights and managed to pull over the Volkswagen on the off ramp at Tweed Heads.

The driver, a 19-year-old P-Plater, was issued with a field court attendance notice for the offences of organise/promote race between vehicles, drive at a speed dangerous to the public and P2 driver exceed speed greater than 45 kilometre per hour.

His license was also suspended, and his vehicle registration cancelled ahead of an appearance in Tweed Heads Local Court on Monday 6 January 2020.

The driver of the Holden left the scene without stopping and police are still trying to track them down.

If you have information for Police, please contact NSW Police on 131 444 or provide information using their online form 24 hours per day. 

You can report also information about crime anonymously to Crime Stoppers by calling 1800 333 000 or via nsw.crimestoppers.com.au 24 hours per day. Crime Stoppers is a registered charity and community volunteer organisation.


‘Existential’ picked as word of the year

Climate change, gun violence, the very nature of democracy and an angst-ridden little movie star called Forky helped propel “existential” to Dictionary.com’s word of the year.

The choice reflects months of high-stakes threats and crises, real and pondered, across the news, the world and throughout 2019.

“In our data, it speaks to this sense of grappling with our survival, both literally and figuratively, that defined so much of the discourse,” said John Kelly, senior research editor for the site, ahead of Monday’s announcement.

The word earned top of mind awareness in sustained searches at Dictionary.com in the aftermath of wildfires and Hurricane Dorian, and mass shootings in Christchurch, New Zealand, and El Paso, Texas.

It also reared itself in presidential politics and pop culture, including Forky the white plastic spork who was the breakout star of Toy Story 4.

The soiled utensil is convinced his destiny is in the rubbish embraces his purpose as a treasured toy of kindergartener Bonnie.

“Forky underscores how this sense of grappling can also inspire us to ask big questions about who we are, about our purpose,” Mr Kelly said.

Oxford Dictionaries picked “climate emergency” as its word of the year, noting usage evidence that reflects the “ethos, mood, or preoccupations of the passing year”, the company said in a statement.

Dictionary.com crunches lookup and other data to decide which word to anoint each year.

The site has been picking a word of the year since 2010.

Among search spikes for “existential” were those that occurred after both US Democratic presidential contender Bernie Sanders and 16-year-old climate activist Greta Thunberg characterised climate change as an “existential” crisis, Kelly said.

Another spike occurred when former vice president Joe Biden, also vying for the Democratic presidential nod, painted President Donald Trump as an “existential threat” to decency.

The word dates to 1685, deriving from Late Latin’s “existentialis”.

Dictionary.com defines existential as “of or relating to existence” and “of, relating to, or characteristic of philosophical existentialism; concerned with the nature of human existence as determined by the individual’s freely made choices”.

Enter Martin Heidegger, Karl Jaspers, Gabriel Marcel, Albert Camus and Jean-Paul Sartre, thinkers who moulded and embraced existentialism, among other movements.

Climate, guns and the impeachment crisis for Trump were just a few areas that seemed to frame debate in existential terms.

So did the Hong Kong protests, the Notre Dame fire, tensions between the United States and China, and Big Tech’s privacy and fake news problems.

“We started to see existential in the dialogue beginning in January and all the way through the year,” said Jennifer Steeves-Kiss, Dictionary.com’s chief executive officer.

“This is a consistent theme that we saw in our data, but it also was leveraged across many different important questions of our time.”

As for Forky, his journey from disposable utensil to handmade toy points to the concept of “agency”, Kelly said, referring to the power to direct our own existences.

That, he said, affords us the “opportunity to turn existential threats into existential choices”.

© AP 2019

Water Tap

Water interruptions planned for multiple Gold Coast suburbs

Multiple Gold Coast suburbs could experience issues with water today, with a number of water works taking place.

Residents on Markwell Avenue in Surfers Paradise could be in for an outage between 9.00am and 2.00pm, while Council crews work on the area’s water network.

Similar story for residents on Station Street in Currumbin Waters, with crews working on a water main in the area.

Also today, crews will be replacing water hydrants in Paradise Point.

It’s only expected to affect homes on Oxley Drive between 9.00am and 2.00pm.

Residents in Hope Island could be in for some serious water interruptions tomorrow though, as crews work to replace water hydrants throughout the suburb.

Homes on Santa Barbara Road,  Buddeh Street, Chindrina Street, Booran Street, Jingella Street, Iragana Street, Mungala Street, Buliti Street, Akoonah Street, Eingana Street and Babirra Street could be affected between 9.00am and 2.00pm.

For more information about planned and upcoming water outages, click here.